The Legend of Eut-le-ten

The Ogre

E-ish-so-oolth's husband was a mighty man, greater than any Indian on the coast. His limbs were rugged as the wind-swept fir which grows upon the stormy outer shores. His thick and matted hair fell in tangles over his great shoulders, and his sullen eyes looked from out his forehead with angry stare. Cruel as the gaunt and hungry timber wolf, such was the mate of dread E-ish-so-oolth. Beside him, Eut-le-ten had no length of arm or strength of limb with which to fend himself, still less attack this giant of the gloomy forest track, but he possessed weapons more potent than the brutal strength of this vile chehah man. A spirit child he was, a heaven sent boy, whom no evil ever could destroy.

The Destruction of the Ogre

The Ogre was at work cleaving a fallen tree, using wedges formed from the hardest, toughest wood the Indians know. It was the Kla-to-mupt, the western yew. With mighty blows of his stone hammer, he sunk a wedge deep in the log, rending it open, split to the centre of its giant heart.

The thunderous blows were heard by Eut-le-ten, who with fine courage followed up the sound, until he came in view of where the huge man worked with all his might.

Blow upon blow fell upon the wedge, deeper it sank into the log. The split grew wider. The sides of the great rent pressed hard upon the wedge, so hard that if the wedge were hit a glancing blow, it would fly out.

Thus it was, when the Ogre saw the wonder boy approach, and his great frame was filled with rage, because the boy betrayed no fear of him, that his dark face lit up as with a flame.

This is not the ogre, but a portrait of ka-koop-et (Mr. Bill) Drawn by J Semeyn from photograph by Joseph Clegg of Port Alberni.
Taking his sledge of stone he struck a blow, as if upon the wedge, but let it drop; deep in the crack it fell far out of reach.

"Come here my boy," he called, "I crave your help, I have lost my hammer within this mighty tree, I cannot reach it, so, jump in and get it, for I want it back."

Eut-le-ten climbed upon the log, and dropt within the split as he was bid; the Ogre gave the wedge a sudden jog and out it sprang, and the sides came together like the jaws of some great trap.

"Ha! Ha!" the Ogre cried, "Oh! what a joke! with but a single stroke I have ground him small. E-ish-so-oolth that gentle little fey, will dine on mince-meat."

The ugly Ogre made his clumsy jest, little knowing of the fate his spouse had met, when suddenly he saw upon the ground before him, an awesome thing, a little pool of water from which there came a quite unearthly sound. Then from the pool, with fear and awe, the Ogre saw brave Eut-le-ten uprise. Nothing could lay low this boy of wondrous parts, who could resolve himself to mother earth, and from the primal pool of tears arise to save the helpless and destroy their foes.

"Most wondrous boy, I feared that when the wedge slipt out you died; instead, my heart is filled with joy to see you live when I had thought you killed. Tell me from whence you draw your mystic power, and I will seek the place this very day. When I have found it out, I will repay you in ways more certain than I can now command."

Thus spake the ogre, and Eut-le-ten replied, "'Tis easy done. This gift is yours as well as mine. Test it but once, and you will see that you have powers as great as I."

Stone hammer used by the Indians of Barkley Sound.
The giant's bulky frame was filled with pride. "You're right," he swore, "the thing that you can do, by all the Tyee salmon, so can I."

Once more the wedge was driven to the heart, until again the sides were spread a-gape. In climbed the giant, – he did not think the fit would be so tight.

"Are you all ready?" Eut-le-ten called out.

"Yes!" roared the giant, with a thunderous shout.

"Die then!" cried Eut-le-ten, as he took the hammer up, and struck upon the side the great yew wedge. Out sprung the wedge, the sides snapped together, crushing within the ogre's ponderous frame.

Ignoring his wild shouts they crunched to powder all his giant bones.

The ogre and his mate were thus destroyed, and never more have children been led astray by E-ish-so-oolth's dread and magic craft, to suffer death in ways too sad to tell.

Next: The Release of the Children

contact us - copyright & disclaimer - search - privacy statement